Rare Bruce Springsteen Poster From 1971 Sells For $650 on eBay
A poster of one of the oddities in the Bruce Springsteen‘s pre-fame career recently sold for $650 on eBay. The poster is for the “Ernie the Chickin’ Festival” at Newark State College in Union, N.J. on May 15, 1971. Music was performed by several local acts including the oddly named “Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom with Bruce Springsteen.”
According to Brucebase, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom evolved out of the open jams Springsteen had been having at the Upstage in Asbury Park. The band featured original E Streeters David Sancious, Garry Tallent and Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez; Miami Steve Van Zandt, who would join in 1975; and Springsteen’s old friend “Southside” Johnny Lyon. The band also featured a percussionist two saxophone players and a seven-piece vocal group called the Zoomettes. Remember, this was 1971.
Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom only performed twice, at the Ernie the Chickin’ Festival and the night before at Asbury Park’s Sunshine In. The bootlegs of this show reveals a nine-song set which contained covers of Bob Dylan‘s ‘It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry,’ the Shirelles’ ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ and ‘Jambalaya’ by Hank Williams.
Later that night, the core of the band performed as the Sundance Blues Band from 9:30PM to 1:00AM, proving that, even then, it was impossible to get Springsteen to leave the stage. The gig took place at the Student Prince in Asbury Park, the same club where, several months later, Springsteen would meet saxophonist Clarence Clemons.
The poster for the festival is pink with red lettering and a drawing of a chicken playing an electric guitar (again, 1971). The seller describes the poster in excellent condition, but with a couple of creases and a minor stain in one corner. Three bidders fought for the poster, which was originally listed at $50, but the rarity of the item caused a bidding war, which saw the price rise to $650.